Surprise, a Rooster. Now what?


In the Brooder
Sep 28, 2015
One of my pullets turned out to be a rooster. I guess it's no big deal, I plan to keep him but it does bring up some questions I didn't know I had. 1). He's the only Rhode Island Red in the flock. I assume he doesn't care and will try to mate with everyone. If so, what does that mean for the babies? You just don't hear much about mixed breed chickens. Any pairings I should be aware of? 2). Will every egg be fertilized? Will I still be able to collect some every day? What is the best way to do it? 3). When chicks are born does Momma take care of them entirely or should I have a lamp in the coop? Ugh... sex complicates everything! I'm not new to chickens just to a rooster among them. I knew my time was coming though. I bought 18 pullets over the last two years and got zero roosters. No one is that lucky. Any insight will be helpful. Thanks!

lazy gardener

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
Hey Julia. Welcome to BYC. Your cockrel will gladly mate with all of your pullets. He may even try to mate with an old boot or an old coffee can. He won't be particular. One of the disadvantages of finding out that Henrietta is actually Henry, is that he will mature faster than the girls will. But you say that you have 18 girls, and some of them are 2 years old? If so, that will make things easier, cause he'll lavish his attention on the older girls, giving the youngsters a break until they are of laying age. And your older girls will give him some lessons in how a gentleman should behave with a lady. Fertile eggs look just like un-fertile eggs. You won't know the difference UNLESS you study up on how to tell the difference. If you want chicks, you will need to buy yourself an incubator, or make one. Or wait until you have a broody hen. Depending on what breeds you have, you may NEVER get a broody hen. Barn yard mix chicks make great laying hens. They are often very healthy.

Don't allow your roo to be overly friendly with you. Never walk around him. Make him get out of your way. My rule with roos is: they must stay arms length away from me at all times. Often, the roos that are treated as pets become human aggressive. If he shows any human aggression, there are some domninance training methods that you can use. But, generally, any roo that is human aggressive should be culled. You don't want to breed aggression into your flock.

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